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Accused gun seller pleads not guilty
January 18, 2013, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal Staff

The San Mateo felon accused of illegally selling guns from his home, including one weapon to a minor, pleaded not guilty yesterday to nearly a dozen felonies and successfully asked a judge to reduce his $250,000 bail.

Antonio Urena Infante, 35, is charged with 10 crimes related to being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. On Tuesday, after pleading not guilty to all charges, Infante asked that his $250,000 bail be reduced and Judge Cliff Cretan agreed. His new bail was set at $150,000 but, as of Thursday evening, Infante remained in custody.

The San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force began investigating Infante after receiving a tip he might be dealing drugs from his Speers Avenue home in the Parkside neighborhood. The arrest came after police busted one of his alleged customers who was underage.

On Jan. 10, officers say a 20-year-old man entered the home and left minutes later. A traffic stop of the East Palo Alto man, Victor Avelar, turned up a Ruger handgun in the central console and a cellphone with a text message about buying a gun from Infante, according to prosecutors.

On Jan. 11, police and narcotics task force members raided Infante's home and discovered hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside. Four guns, including three that were loaded and one that was a Norinco automatic firearm, were in his car, prosecutors said.

Two high-capacity magazines and another gun were reportedly found in the car's trunk.

None of the weapons appear to be stolen or involved in other criminal activity, according to District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, but Infante is forbidden from having any firearms because he has a prior conviction for marijuana possession.

Avelar's age led prosecutors to charge Infante with selling a firearm to a minor because buyers in California must be at least 21 years old.

If convicted, Infante faces up to a decade in prison.

Avelar was charged with felony possession of a concealed firearm and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Jan. 29.

He has pleaded not guilty and remains in custody in lieu of $100,000 bail.

 

Michelle Durand can be reached by email: michelle@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 102.



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